The last few weeks I have been in “squirrel mode”. I have been buying large amounts of grapes and FREEZING them before the season ends! I do NOT like the grapes that they have in the grocery stores during the winter months. They are yucky. 🙂
And since frozen is my PREFERRED way of eating these sweet little gems…freezing a bunch for winter is a no-brainer and an easy way to save money (check here for coupons).
But this got me thinking about other things I could be freezing. I’m pretty sure I could probably save a considerable amount of money if I just knew HOW best to freeze things that I purchase in bulk. As it is, I’m afraid I end up throwing out way more than I need to. I actually bought a FoodSaver recently to address this problem…but am coming to realize that while a FoodSaver machine is NICE…what I need even MORE is good information about WHAT I can freeze, and HOW.
Well, after LOTS of research…I have come up with my Top 31 Things You Can Freeze To Save Time and Money:
You can freeze blocks of cheese without it becoming crumbly if you let it thaw completely before putting it in the fridge. If you prefer to shred your cheese first, add a tablespoon or so of cornstarch or flour to the bag and shake it to prevent clumping when it thaws.
Another great idea…buy a big piece of Parmigiano Reggiano (the good stuff!!), grate in the food processor and put in a freezer bag. It keeps for months and all you have to do is open the bag and scoop out a couple of tablespoons when you need it.
Homemade Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast
Make up a few batches over the weekend for quick “defrost and go” breakfasts during the week. Freeze on a cookie sheet, then toss them in a freezer bag. Reheat in the microwave, toaster, or toaster oven. WAY better then the frozen ones you buy in the store! (CLICK HERE for my Blender Pancakes & Waffles recipe.)
When freezing fruit, it’s best to first freeze spread out on freezer or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and then place in bags. Individual frozen pieces let you pull out just how much you need.
Try keeping a “Smoothie Bag” in the freezer. Toss in extra apple wedges, peaches, pears, bananas, chunks of melon…any kind of fruit…and use in smoothies.
If you don’t like handling mushy bananas, just throw the bananas into the freezer with the skin on. Then when you need them for a recipe (banana bread anyone?), pull out what you need, microwave for a few seconds, then cut off the top and squeeze the insides into your mixing bowl!
Cook a big batch of rice, spread it on a cookie sheet on parchment paper and freeze. When the rice is frozen, just put in a freezer bag or containers and you have rice in a pinch! Great for BROWN rice which takes so long to cook! Use in casseroles, soups or fried rice.